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Guide: Run an employee survey

Introduction

Back in 2004 Larry Page and Sergey Brin asked Stacy Sullivan, then Head of HR and now Google’s Chief Culture Officer, to find out how Google employees, or Googlers, were feeling about work by interviewing them and reporting back. At that point the company had thousands of Googlers, and Stacy realized that face-to-face interviews (as she had done in the past) were no longer the most efficient or rigorous way to gauge employee sentiments. So Google began its first version of an employee survey.

Surveys are a great way to gather data about your organization. Whether it’s an annual employee survey, a form for employees to give feedback to their managers, or a post-training assessment, collecting data directly from your employees can inform decisions and guide organizational action.

"A good survey is a lot of work; a bad survey isn't worth doing." ~Googler mantra

Survey writing is a science; many research institutions, including The University of Michigan, Harvard University, and Duke University, have rigorous programs that share scientifically validated methodologies.

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